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Holloman AFB Making Air & Space History

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 09:55:19 -0400
Archived: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 09:55:19 -0400
Subject: Holloman AFB Making Air & Space History

Source: Space.Com - New York, New York, USA


27 September 2007

Holloman Air Force Base: Making Air And Space History
By Leonard David
Special Correspondent, SPACE.com

Golden, Colorado =96 Rocket sleds, space monkeys, a record setting
sky dive ... and bad piloting skills of an alien-controlled UFO.

It's all part of aerospace history at Holloman Air Force Base in
New Mexico =96 the site of this year's Wirefly X Prize Cup and
home base for a distinctive blend of high-end aviation and the
budding public space travel business.

Holloman Air Force Base is in the city of Alamogordo, a locale
that has scored big-time with history making events.

"It's the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force, as well as the
50th anniversary of spaceflight," explained Lt. Col. Angelo
Eiland, 49th Fighter Wing Deputy Director of Staff at Holloman
Air Force Base in New Mexico. "This opportunity to partner with
the X Prize helps us round out the picture of telling the air
and space revolutions that have taken place over the last 50 and
60 years, he told SPACE.com.

Eiland said that Holloman has decades of being intimately
involved with space.

Fastest man on Earth

Born in the early 1940s as Alamogordo Army Air Field, then
Holloman Air Development Center, and later the Air Force Missile
Development Center, it was during that sweep of time that many
missile launches were orchestrated, such as the Tiny Tim (the
first Army rocket), Rascal, V-2, the Falcon, MACE, and the

In January 1948, the Alamogordo installation was renamed
Holloman Air Force Base, in honor of the late Col. George V.
Holloman, a pioneer in pilotless aircraft and guided missile

A seminal event at Holloman Air Force Base was the rocket
propelled test sled shot of John Stapp. Strapped tight into
Sonic Wind No. 1, he rocket-sledded his way into the record book
on December 10, 1954 by reaching a velocity of 632 miles per

Not only was it a hair-mussing experience, but Stapp deservedly
earned titles like "The Fastest Man Alive" and "Fastest Man on
Earth" in attaining the lickity split rail speed. From a
standing start to a dead stop, Stapp sustained some 40 g's =96
that's 40 times the pull of Earth gravity. This milestone-making
event was staged to study how gravitational stress affects the
human body.

Today, specialists employ the Holloman High-Speed Test Track,
including use of the gear to develop magnetic levitation
(Maglev) launch concepts, among other applications.

High-dive into the desert

Yet another Holloman historical highlight is the stratospheric
high-dive of Joseph Kittinger, part of a U.S. Air Force program
designed to test whether pilots could survive high-altitude

On August 16, 1960, Kittinger departed in an open balloon
gondola from an abandoned airstrip near Tularosa, northeast of
Holloman Air Force Base. Drifting upwards to 102,800 feet, he
stepped out of the gondola to make the longest skydive from the
highest altitude in history.

After a 13 minute 45 second descent, Kittinger parachuted safely
into New Mexico desert and into the books for highest open
gondola manned balloon flight, highest balloon flight of any
kind, highest bailout, and longest free fall. During his fall to
Earth, he reached a peak velocity of 614 miles per hour =96 90
percent of the speed of sound.

Hamming it up

As the "space race" between the then Soviet Union and the United
States heated up, Holloman's Aero-Medical laboratory engaged in
several noteworthy events. The Air Force had under its wing
dozens of chimpanzees at Holloman Air Force Base, putting the
animals through various tests as a prelude to human space

For example, there's the January 31, 1961 liftoff of HAM, a
three-year-old chimpanzee, from Cape Canaveral inside a Mercury-
Redstone capsule =96 a final check to human-rate the spacecraft
and booster.

By the way, HAM was an acronym for Holloman Aero Med, with the
"monkeynaut" trailblazing a suborbital trajectory before Alan
Shepard became the first American into space on May 5, 1961.

Enos was another pioneering chimpanzee. Trained at Holloman, the
animal was lofted in a Mercury-Atlas capsule for a two orbit
spin around Earth on November 29, 1961. That mission helped to
provide an all-clear to launch astronaut John Glenn into Earth
orbit on February 20, 1962.

Extraterrestrial oddity

There's also an extraterrestrial oddity that features Holloman =96
one that involves that supposed July 1947 UFO crash in
neighboring Roswell, New Mexico.

It turns out that the base was the prime spot to handle balloon
launches for classified Department of Defense programs. An
aspect of that effort made use of anthropomorphic dummy drops in
several U.S. Air Force initiatives.

In the 1990s, the Air Force pointed to a hush-hush, top secret
government undertaking =96 code named Project MOGUL that utilized
long-range balloons to carry out reconnaissance duties over the
Soviet Union. More to the point, the U.S. military insisted that
purported UFO debris in Roswell and alien pilots are little more
than the recovered wreckage of a MOGUL balloon and its
equipment, coupled to witnesses that have misinterpreted past
events due to the "fog of time."

Of course, UFO true-believers maintain that the cover-up of a
busted up flying saucer and captured aliens remains in full-
force in the 21st century.

Expo travel

Today, Holloman Air Force Base is at the forefront of military
operations, with its F-117 "stealth" aircraft and serving as the
training center for the German Air Force's Tactical Training

On October 27-28, from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, Holloman
Air Force Base is the place to be for the Holloman Air & Space
Expo, in collaboration with the Wirefly X Prize Cup. The free
event will comprise more than twenty different aircraft displays
and space-related events.

Continuous aircraft demonstrations from the F-117 Nighthawk
stealth fighter, P-51 Mustang, NASA's Super Guppy cargo aircraft
and the F-22 Raptor =96 the newest U.S. Air Force fighter that
will be stationed at Holloman in 2009 =96 will be on-hand. For its
part, the Wirefly X Prize Cup, among an array of festivities,
will conduct the Northrop Grumman lunar lander competition with
teams vying for mega-cash rewards.

If you're ready to travel, Holloman Air Force Base is located in
New Mexico's Tularosa Basin between the Sacramento and San
Andreas mountain ranges. The base is about 10 miles west of
Alamogordo, New Mexico, on route 70/82; 90 miles north of El
Paso, Texas; 70 miles east of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

For detailed information and updates regarding the 2007 Wirefly
X Prize Cup, go to the Internet web site:


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